To understand better and choose between liposuction, cryolipolysis, and coolsculpting, you first need to know what we are talking about. I would like to help you understand the differences and indications of these TWO silhouette reshaping treatments.
Yes, two and not three: there is a red herring in the title…
Silhouette: focus on stubborn fat
When both men and women put on weight, they tend to store fat in very specific areas.
- In men, it is firstly the abdomen (sometimes as visceral fat around the intestines) and the hips (love handles).
- In women, it is the tummy, hips, buttocks (saddlebags), thighs, but also the knees or breasts. Moreover, women are genetically « programmed » to store reserves in these places.
Nevertheless, despite having a slim silhouette and not being overweight, localized excess weight can still linger in these storage areas and it often resists diets and/or exercise. Depending on your metabolism and morphology, this can be more or less true and visible, in some areas more than others. But it is also possible for them to appear and take hold after one or more pregnancies, with age, hormonal changes, or the menopause.
These bulges of deep fat are particularly stubborn and upset the harmony of the silhouette. Close-fitting clothes can accentuate them further and create hang-ups or embarrassment.
Some aesthetic surgery procedures and more gentle techniques can be a lasting solution to eliminate localized fat deposits and resculpt the silhouette.
Leading the way are liposuction and cryolipolysis (or Coolsculpting).
Liposuction: remove fat and resculpt the body with surgery
Liposuction is a silhouette remodeling technique that has been used in aesthetic surgery for many years.
It involves simply removing all the excess fat with a fine cannula to recover a slimmer, more harmonious silhouette: a flatter tummy or thinner legs, but also thinner arms, etc.
This rapid surgical procedure leaves only very small scars but can be relatively painful post-op. The result is considered final after 6 months; although the first benefits are visible once the edema has disappeared, approximately one month after the procedure.
By keeping your weight stable, liposuction is a definitive operation that brings patients great satisfaction.
Cryolipolysis: melt the bulges using cold
More and more patients are looking for anti-aging solutions or solutions to improve their silhouette that are less invasive than surgery. Consequently, aesthetic medicine and its gentle techniques with rapid or immediate recovery have flourished.
Cryolipolysis is one; this body contouring method targets bulges and destroys a portion (30 to 40%) of the fat cells – adipocytes – using cold. Intense, sustained cold is applied using an ergonomic handpiece that sucks up the bulge and causes what is known as apoptosis, or the programmed self-destruction of some of the adipocytes.
A few weeks later, a decrease in the size of the fat deposit and, therefore, the zone treated is observed. The silhouette is more harmonious and the balance restored. Depending on the size of the area, one single cryolipolysis session may be enough but two are sometimes necessary.
The result is definitive if you maintain a stable weight.
It is a non-invasive solution that does not require a general or local anesthetic, and you can return to your activities immediately.
Cryolipolysis and Coolsculpting: what is the difference?
The first cryolipolysis machine – lipolysis using cold – was developed in 2008 by Zeltiq, part of the Allergan group, and marketed under the name Coolsculpting. Boosted by its success, the name rapidly became commonly used to talk about cryolipolysis.
Coolsculpting is therefore a brand whereas cryolipolysis is the mechanism behind the technique. Coolsculpting is cryolipolysis!
Several brands market cryolipolysis appliances: make sure you entrust yourself to practices and physicians who use a recognized cryolipolysis machine that meets current safety standards.
Our practice is equipped with a Zeltiq cryolipolysis machine, the only FDA-approved appliance for cryolipolysis.
Cryo or lipo, which is better?
It all depends on your constraints, your desires, and your case.
- Liposuction is more radical, can eliminate a greater quantity of fat in one single operation (up to 6 liters of fat), and is more accurate. However, an anesthetic is necessary and although the follow-up is not complicated, it is more restrictive. It is a surgical procedure.
- Cryolipolysis is ideal for slim people with very localized fat deposits and who do not wish to undergo more extensive surgery. However, as with any medical procedure, there are also risks and contra-indications.
- During liposuction, the fat removed can be used to fill other areas (breasts, buttocks) and completely harmonize the silhouette whereas during cryolipolysis the fat is destroyed and cannot be used elsewhere.
- During the consultation, together we will go through your motivations, your expectations, and your medical history. We will also discuss the procedure and the results of the liposuction or cryolipolysis/Coolsculpting. I will thus be able to advise you on the most suitable technique for your case and your desires.